What makes cooking game meat such a joy, especially when you have hunted it yourself? Is it the fact that you are providing your dear ones with healthy food? Is it the memory of the hunt? Personally, I am always experiencing an incredibly pure and healthy emotion, a gratefulness which fills me with pride. I guess it's a primal feeling that comes from deep within, strongly rooted in our soul for thousands of years: "bringing back food for your clan".
I am 28 years old. Together with my friend Vianney, we founded Nemrod. Our goal is to grant as many people as possible access to game meat from France.
The origins of this project probably lie in my childhood. I fondly remember my two grandfathers – both hunters. They taught me to love the great Alsatian forests, to respect the animal you chase, and to appreciate the delicious taste of cooked game meat.
Before I could even walk, I was taken on hunts. I followed, observed, listened to nature. Hunting opened a new world to me, a realm full of wonder. I spent long hours sitting on the raised hide or stalking game, alone or with my grandfather, at sunrise or sunset. I realized that life existed next to our daily grind as humans. Independent of our day-to-day business or material concerns, there is life in the woods. I believe that this realization has taught me to deeply respect the hunted animal. When hunting, you become part of nature. You need to blend in, put yourself in the place of your prey, only then are you able to trick it.
In the end, hunting teaches humility. In most cases, the animal wins. We must come back tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next week or even next year… until we may finally succeed in harvesting a chosen individual. Then, the hunter takes the animal’s life in a fragment of a second. The act of taking a life in hunting is central but so tiny. Whether to shoot or not to shoot is a very responsible decision one makes at a precise moment. Not pulling the trigger can be the more reasonable and responsible thing to do. Because letting the animal live is also a part of what it means to be a hunter.
A few years ago, I realized that some hunted game could not find a taker and that it did not make it to a plate. I was deeply saddened by that fact.
So, I asked myself:
Since this is what it's all about: in France, the populations of big game are constantly increasing but the consumption of game is decreasing. The result is a surplus of game. To maintain the balance between agriculture, forestry, and hunting purposes, hunters have to fulfill ever rising hunting quotas. In our forests, the aim is to let game populations thrive while maintaining biodiversity and bearing in mind all agricultural and forestry activities. In this vast, comprehensive program, the hunter plays a key role. As the only predator of big game, he helps to achieve a healthy balance. On the consumer side, locavore concepts (bringing local food on the table) are very popular and growing. Paradoxically game meat does no longer play its former role, although many people are looking to refocus their diet on local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources.
They have never undergone any medical treatment or received medication. These are animals that live in the forest behind our home. Last but not least, these animals reproduce without human intervention. Nature offers these gifts to us. Hunting them, allows me to reconnect with nature, to understand its balance, to feel responsible when I take something. Cooking their meat allows me to share joy and wellbeing with my fellow human beings.
TO MAKE IT EASY
1. for hunters to sell their game and
2. for consumers to have access to local game meat.
Today we are a team of 12 enthusiasts and process about 2,000 hunted animals per year, mainly wild boar, roe deer, red deer, fallow deer and chamois. We sell our produce to professional chefs and restaurants but also to individuals online. We have a whole range of products from fresh meat to delicacies, including terrines and barbecue products.
to make people discover the various delicious tastes that game meat has to offer. With time, the number of people who understand and support our approach has grown. Nemrod is also a way to promote hunting and its traditions.
Edouard Rapp and Vianney Baule are both butchers from France. Born in 1993 and 1994, they share a passion for cooking, hunting, and the outdoors. In 2018, they founded Nemrod to bring French game meat from the wild to the table again.
They mainly hunt in the region of Alsace, more precisely in the massif des Vosges (a range of low mountains in Eastern France, near the German border), where they encounter wild boar, red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, and chamois.
To them, it is very important to have a strong connection with nature, to enjoy precious moments in the Alsatian forests. They deeply respect wildlife and love to cook game meat.